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Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

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Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

An observation: Investigators say the 16-year-old former Brashear High School student who allegedly opened fire near the Beechview school on Wednesday, wounding three other students, supposedly was exacting revenge for a drug-related robbery and assault. This incident speaks tragic volumes to the insidious pathologies of modern, broken society. Where it ends, we do not know. But where it must begin to be addressed is in the home — “the home,” a concept that must be revived if civil society is to survive.

Laurel: To Clint Hurdle. The Pirates manager was characteristically humble and humorous in his reaction to being named National League Manager of the Year. He won the honor this week in a runaway vote by the nation's baseball writers. In three years, Mr. Hurdle led the Bucs from being a perennial loser to the playoffs. Our heartiest congratulations to a skipper who redefines the term “class act.”

On the “Watch List”: Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto is proposing an early retirement plan for 132 positions with full pension benefits. The intimation is that dead wood needs to be cleared. That's necessary and laudable. But if there are “dead wooders,” why reward them with the full pension they do not deserve? If Mr. Peduto wants to create the culture of excellence he professes he wants, he should reward excellence, not poor performance.

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